Rescue Operations Class May 29 Pensacola Beach

Heavy Rescue Class will start at 0800 in the DeLuna Hall on First Floor of Pensacola Beach Hampton Inn. Less than 10 spots available.

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Think Basic First and then COMPLEX. K.I.S.S.  KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. You still have time to sign up.
Link Below. Class approved for 8 Hours towards Instructor renewal.

Rescue Company Operations Seminar “Special Ops”

Dump Truck call

One day Seminar on Rescue Company Operations on Pensacola Beach, May 29, 2013. 0800-1700 Hours Class will cover all Rescue Company Operations to include: Advanced Vehicle Extrication, Elevator Entrapment, Farm Medic Entrapment,Grain Silo Recues, Trash Truck Entrapment, Machinery Extrication, Human trapped in hydraulic equipment, kids and vending machines/toys & bicycles, RIT on the Fire Ground & other incidents that require RIT operations. The Instructor has been involved in and responded to all of these type incidents and will cover based on extensive training and incident tested results. This beyond your normal Extrication Training Class. Class Size is limited. This is the First of this type class in the region and has been approved for 8 Hours of Instructor renewal ceus.

Pictures & Video of real incidents will be utilized in this fast passed class.

Main Speaker

Curt Isakson
24 Year Veteran
Curt has an extensive background in Rescue/Special Operations to include Chief of Special Operations for 7 years. Curt took his first extrication class in the summer of 1988 and has been intrigued with extrication & rescue operations ever since. Curt was a member of the Technical Rescue team during his 9 years with the Pensacola FD. He was assigned as the Lieutenant on a Heavy Rescue for 5 years and was assigned as a firefighter to the same Rescue before promotion to Lt. He also started his career in the volunteer ranks assigned to a Bread Truck convertited into a Heavy Rescue and contributed to many modifications and additions.

To Register click on link:

The First Three With Three “Low Staffing”

How would you handle this, with the first three companies being staffed with only three firefighters?


The First Three with Three


So many FDs are responding with crews of three and sometimes even worse; less than three. Three is not ideal for fire company staffing; but if this is what you have, then have a plan to maximize through alarm assignments/seat and tactical assignments based on arrival sequence. The first arriving company with water must stretch and advance an attack line 99% of the time. The other 1% may be a VES or some other rare first due tactic that must be performed over stretching the line. When first due is stretching there must be a competent company officer to size-up and give the direction of apparatus placement and attack line size. The placement of the apparatus should take into consideration full involvement of structure and ladder placement. Second, length and time to stretch attack line to fire area. When possible the apparatus should be pulled as close as possible to curb on fire side as to leave room for later arriving companies to get passed for placement and/or reverse supply lay. If the first due holds short, evaluate if the ladder can get passed for placement to fire building. The second part of a three person company is the driver and his or her ability to park and prepare for assault on fire. The driver must be able to multi-task and be prepared to enter IDLH if needed or directed because someone else is able to take over pump operations. This is not a perfect world, nor is the fire ground a real stable place. We must be able to change plans at a moment’s notice. Drivers in understaffed companies must wear structural firefighting gear and have SCBA available. They must be able to assist with the stretch while the CO is conducting the size-up “outside the apparatus”. The driver must have the ability to get feeder line in place for second due booster tank. Good length for feeder line is 75′. This will act as measuring stick for second due on where to position. This will help insure the second due does not block ladders that may need to be removed from rear of first due company. After the first line is properly operating and feeder line is in place the driver should stretch back- up line to point of entry to be manned by later arriving companies and / or in an emergency, the driver may need to operate it in case of rapid fire growth or vent point ignition while crew is still inside operating. Consideration should always be given to what type of ventilation and when it’s needed. May just place PPV Fan at point of entry and wait until interior officer advises its ok to start. They may even be directed to take one or two windows on front side of house. “Always keeping in mind that primary job is supplying attack water”


How many hallways has the nozzle firefighter been down? Can they make the push? Do they have the experience to work independant of an officer?


The Nozzle firefighter!

The firefighter that will most likely get the closest to the fire. They must be able to work independent of the CO under hopefully rare circumstances. This firefighter must be able to size-up, size and location of fire to determine proper amount of hose needed at entry point. Fifty feet is not always the answer. The fire service continues to respond to more and more, larger homes that require more than fifty feet at the entry point. This firefighter must have the discipline to call for water when the officer has yet to call for it and there is no other option. They must always bleed the line and confirm a good flow pressure in unison with the driver setting flow pressure. We must enter with a fully loaded gun.

The Second Three!

When the Second Due Company reports directly to the scene.

The firefighter must be assigned as the door/ point of entry control. This position can also staff the back- up line and watch for vent point ignition. After the initial attack line has advanced to its furthest point. Then the second due firefighter can start a search from this point, penetrating the building and hopefully joined by their company officer. Second due driver must position apparatus to allow for a feeder operation and also assist with attack lines if needed. Hopefully the third or fourth line would be stretched off the second due, to assist in line accountability. The second due driver should become the water supply officer and evaluate if the first two tanks will get it, or if the third due needs to lay and charge supply line from hydrant. If the fire has not been knocked down when the second dues booster tank is empty; the third due should be securing a hydrant. “When in Doubt, Lay it Out”. You can lay and not charge it or lay it and charge it. Either way, third due laying a supply line on a house fire is never a bad thing. With 6 already on-scene the initial line is staffed and searches should be underway or shortly underway. The second due driver should be prepared to receive hydrant water and continually feed first due and also pump additional attack lines. Second Due Company Officer must be ready to take command, when a command officer has not arrived and a fast attack mode has been initiated. They must reevaluate the fire scene and the first dues progress and consider the arrival time of command officer. Once a command officer has arrived they can assist with the primary search and or staffing the back-up line.

The Third Three!

The firefighter may on a forward lay be at the hydrant. When this firefighter is at the hydrant they must take the time to fully gate all hydrant ports and confirm a 5 to 10′ tail of supply to ensure no kinks when charging supply line. They must also take time to fully turn hydrant on. Before turning on hydrant, confirm the scene needs and wants it turned on. Just because they hear charge the line, does not mean the supply line from hydrant. This request over the radio could be for the back-up line and/or the feeder line from second due. Once the hydrant is charged the firefighter should advance down to the scene with purpose and possibly assist with LDH clamp or making the break/connection of hydrant supply line. After the hydrant is providing sustained water to the scene, them the firefighter can be assigned by the OIC. “Most likely Truck Operations”.


More to come on how to make the most out of limited staffing……..


Other options to consider: RIT, Forcible Entry of entry point and opposite entry point, vertical & horizontal ventilation.

How do you assign your first nine firefighters or first three companies at a working fire? Do you have seat assignments?

Commercial Building Fires

When can we go Interior on Commercial? What are the considerations? Why should we go Interior/Offensive on some Commercial Fires? Should we always go deffensive if no one is inside?

When and IF you go OFFENSIVE on a Commercial Building Fire; What are some considerations?

How many firefighters should be onscene? Should we already have RIT in place? What are your thoughts?

The Day After!

Thermal Imager “TIC” Under Utilized

Do you still think it's cool? Have you trained on it lately?

While there is no substitute for real world experience, realistic training is the next best thing. After conducting search training using acquired structures and “live smoke”, there were several lessons learned and reinforced as it relates to entering a fire building and conducting a search while using a Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC). The most obvious of these, is that the majority of firefighters have had little to no formal training in the use of a TIC, and therefore, lack a true understanding of its potential, but more importantly, of its limitations.
There is no doubt that thermal imaging has been one of the single biggest advances in fire service technology in the last 15 years. However, we must remember that it is just another tool in the toolbox, and must be used with caution. While conducting searches, we have always learned to stay low in heat and smoke, with most of us being taught “if you can’t see your feet…get down.” We should not abandon fundamental and sound search tactics while being lulled into a false sense of security by a TIC.
Here are some questions and points to ponder. When searching as a crew or team, which member will carry the TIC? Do you use the TIC to scan the entire room or area? What pattern or method do you use? Do you depend on your TIC to guide you in and out? Are you still maintaining your orientation and exit path strategy using “conventional means”? What happens if your TIC suddenly “dies”, can you find your way out? Are you staying low and using all of your tools to your advantage? What type and size imager do you have, and how do you carry it?

Do you utilize or just carry it? What calls do you use it on?How do you carry? Do you always have it? Do you carry an extra battery on you?How do you carry? Do you always have it?


How do you carry? Do you always have it? Do you carry an extra battery on you? See how the RIT OFFICER has it Hanging, Ready to go.

Notice how many times the question came up about how and do????

Because so many just LEAVE IT ON THE RIG.

Rapid Intervention/Firefighter Rescue Teams

When do you assign a RIT/FAST?

The Fire Ground is so dynamic and the functions that must be completed to save lives and property, make it a serious challenge on when to assign certain task, based on available firefighters/companies. The two-in-two out is not reliable when a real world event happens. Could those two firefighters possibly be more efficient doing some other fire ground functions to prevent a mishap?  Do you know what IRIT stands for and have you really read up on what two out really is? The two out is a temporary CHECK in the BOX and Check in the BOX it is. But, so many Chiefs’ are more concerned with checking the box, that THEY fail to understand if the check is really efficient and has been fire ground tested. Like the whole changing channels during a MAYDAY. Hey Brother, standby, while we have all your other brothers that are close by, change to a different channel. We have got to stop coming up with Tactical Theories and start talking with experienced veterans “ones that respond and actually have been there” on what will really work and not what sounds good in a conference room on Monday morning.

When should we assign RIT during the initial attack?  How many should be assigned? Where should they stage?  WHAT TOOLS SHOULD THEY HAVE?  What should they be allowed to do while standing by? Can they be put to work? What channel should they operate on? When do we terminate the RIT assignment? What type of training should they have? Does YOUR department only assign firefighters/companies to RIT that have been properly trained? Does your department just assign for the check in the box? What’s more important the first line and getting the building ventilated properly or having a RIT before any other tactics are performed?

Does your FD always assign FOUR?  What is the most important thing the RIT does for a down firefighter inside?


DO you assign RIT on all FIRES?

What could have happened? We must evaluate. Size-Up! “Video Below”

What do you see? Could that catch you off guard?

How about the double boarded windows? Small house, Big Challenges.

How big is this duplex? How big does it have to be to catch us off guard?

This fire lasted for a minute. Basically it was Fire Gases burning off.What is the point of no return during a Flashover?

The link below is to the LODD report of Steven Solomon Atlanta Fire. He died six days after the above fire from burn injuries. He was only a few feet inside the front door when the fire gases lit off from the O2 introduced at the front door. The video at the top is of a fire that happen six months later and injury or death was averted because of the lessons learned. So, please study the Atlanta Fire and know that if we had not studied it, it could have been repeated in Escambia. Thanks to the Chief’s of Atlanta for sharing and passing on their lessons learned. For the report was not available when the Escambia Fire happened. It was the Chief’s willingness to share the knowledge of the fire at the funeral home.  RIP Firefighter Solomon.

Below link is to UL Test on Ventilation effects in house fires. Great Training!